Knowing who God is and knowing the church, how shall we then pray? As Paul kneels in prayer, he pleads with the triune God to renovate the church family in Ephesus from the inside out.
“I pray that out of His glorious riches He may strengthen you with power through His Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge–that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.” Eph. 3:16-19)
1) The Triune God – What do these verses teach us about each person of the triune God?
a) The Father – the source of glorious riches; – the strengthener of His family by His Spirit;
b) The Spirit – the power of God evident in the inner beings of those who know Jesus Christ;
c) The Son – spoken of as ‘Christ’ – the ‘anointed one’ who indwells His followers; – the standard of incomprehensible love.
2) The Prayer – What do these verses teach us about the practice of prayer? Here are a few suggestions
Pray theocentrically (God-centred) – You must know the God to whom you pray.
Pray doctrinally accurately – Learn the distinctions within the Godhead. e.g. Too often, I’ve heard sincere believers thanking the Father for dieing on the cross. He didn’t! The Son died upon the cross.
Pray specifically – Within these four verses Paul uses ‘you’ and ‘your’ five times. Knowing well the church for whom you are praying should mean speicific requests. Why not begin specifically by praying this same prayer for the church of which you are a part?
Pray expectantly – Paul is asking God to do what only God can do. Only God has the power to bring about the change. Only through prayer will the saints grasp the immense scope of Christ’s love and experience it in their midst.
Pray collectively – Paul is not simplying requesting God’s life-changing power to be made evident in one life. The entire church family needs this powerful work of God. ALL of the saints need to know a love that surpasses knowledge.
If this prayer reflects the prioirites of a foundation-layer for the church (Ephesians 2:20), shall we not model our prayers upon it? Let’s bend our knees before the Father and ask Him to resource with the power of His Spirit His world-wide family today with a fresh awareness of the indwelling Christ in the wonder of who He graciously is.